WINNIPEG, MB: Today, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection co-hosted a roundtable discussion with the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, and leading health professionals about solutions for responding to family violence and child sexual abuse.
It is through the Canadian Centre’s work in operating Cybertip.ca, Canada’s tipline for reporting online child sexual exploitation, that we have witnessed the growing proliferation of child sexual abuse images. In the past year alone, Cybertip.ca has assessed close to 25,000 images of child sexual abuse, over 50 per cent of which deal with children between 0 and 8 years of age.
“Child pornography is child sexual abuse. It involves the abuse of real children and is a permanent record of the assault perpetrated against young children in our communities. Health professionals are critical in supporting early identification of abuse and assisting families with important information that can disrupt abuse and provide the critical services necessary for these young victims,” says Lianna McDonald, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
In 2014/15, Cybertip.ca is on track for an 80 per cent increase in reporting from the public, 94 per cent of which deals with child pornography concerns. Since 2008, the child pornography content assessed by the tipline appears to have been produced in home settings in 78 per cent of the images. Knowing that child sexual abuse begins in the offline world, focusing efforts around early identification represents positive steps towards preventing the recording of these acts from being uploaded to the Internet. The health sector is a critical partner in addressing these issues.
Today’s roundtable event involved promising discussion about preventing and responding to family violence and child sexual abuse, which is a multidisciplinary and multi-agency challenge.